It is hard to imagine today’s everyday life without QR codes. They have become so integrated into our routines that we barely notice them, even though they are everywhere – on websites, in printed media, on billboards, on flight tickets and booking confirmations. People even tattoo qr codes on their bodies.
So what is a QR code?
Unlike traditional barcodes, which consist of vertical stripes, a QR or quick response code is represented by an array of small squares. They were originally invented in Japan and were used to track car parts.
However, now a QR code has become one of the most used types of two-dimensional code. Despite being smaller than traditional barcoding software, QR codes can store much more information than a traditional 2D barcode. Specifically, a QR code can hold more than 4,000 alphanumeric characters in a limited horizontal and vertical space, whereas a 2D barcode can carry only 20 horizontal characters. Impressive, isn’t it?
In this article, we are going to find out how to use QR codes and how companies can benefit from them in business.
How are QR codes made?
You can find a wide range of QR generating software online that allows you to create a unique code in several simple steps:
- Download and install the QR generator.
- Customize the design of your QR code.
- Insert the QR code link content, such as a URL.
- Check out the preview.
- Download the QR code.
- Test the QR code.
How to Use a QR Code?
The most common way to scan a QR code on any surface is to use a smartphone. There are numerous QR code scanning apps that you can install on your smartphone, then open a camera, align it with the code and have it automatically scanned. There are also standalone QR scanners that can scan both traditional barcodes and QR codes.
Here are some QR best practices:
- When creating a QR code, please be aware that you can put them only in places with stable internet connection. A key feature of a QR code is the ability to instantly scan it, so deep subway stations and airplanes are not the best place for your QR code campaign.
- Make sure that your QR code is easily scannable. Stay away from places such as billboards. Can you imagine someone scanning a QR code from a billboard? Besides, the QR codes also will not work on a busy highway – people won’t risk their lives by scanning the codes while driving.
- Make your QR code compatible with all mobile platforms.
What Are QR Codes Used For?
There is a wide variety of domains where QR barcodes can be used, such as:
- Electronic tickets. When you book a ticket for a flight, a train, or some event, such as a concert, the system generates an electronic ticket for you. When you show this ticket to the inspector, either on a smartphone or in a printed version, they scan it and make a record in the system that the ticket has been checked. You can also scan the ticket’s QR code at automatic checkpoints in an airport or train station to get through the tourniquet.
- Inventory management. Using QR codes allows companies to track the data that is related to their inventory items, such as name, price, SKU, serial number, part number, etc. Warehouse employees put QR tags on items that can later be scanned with a special QR scanner to retrieve this information.
- Quick response code marketing. Many companies also use QR codes in their online ads or printed production. People just scan QR codes and receive more information about the advertised special offer directly to their smartphones.
- Customer support. If your customers have questions regarding your product, you can give them instant customer support with the help of a QR code.
- Authentication. Banking software and messengers such as WhatsApp are using QR codes to log in their users in a quick, easy and secure way.
- Business cards. Business cards with QR codes can not only quickly give information about the business owner, such as links to websites, blogs, social media accounts, etc., but it can also create an impression of a modern, tech-savvy company.
- Coupon codes. Instead of having your customers enter lengthy coupon codes to get a discount, you can encode this discount into a QR. Such a method of coupon delivery can also help you track which specific promotions generate most sales.
- Payment. QR codes are even used during the checkout, making this process as fast as possible.
These are the examples of how to use QR code. QR codes have huge potential and, if wisely used, can supercharge your business.
Stash is a Sales Engineer at Dynamic Inventory. He is an experienced inventory management specialist and technology enthusiast. You can connect with him via LinkedIn or Twitter.